Connect with us


The real reason Pep Lijnders is not replacing Jurgen Klopp



The real reason Pep Lijnders is not replacing Jurgen Klopp

In a recent interview, Pep Lijnders, former Liverpool assistant manager, disclosed that he had been approached multiple times by Jurgen Klopp to succeed him as the club’s manager but had never seriously entertained the idea.

This comes in the wake of Klopp’s emotional departure from Anfield after nearly nine years at the helm, marked by a 2-0 victory over Wolves on the final day of the Premier League season.

During his farewell speech, Klopp announced that Feyenoord’s Arne Slot would be his successor. The following day, Liverpool confirmed Slot’s appointment on a three-year deal, set to commence on June 1.

Pep Lijnders, who had been widely tipped as a strong candidate to replace Klopp, has instead chosen to embark on a new journey as the head coach of Red Bull Salzburg in Austria. In an interview with The Athletic, Lijnders shared insights into his decision-making process.

Jurgen Klopp promises not to hold Pep Lijnders back after new Liverpool  extension | The Independent

“Jurgen asked me about it a few times in recent years,” Lijnders said.

“The season before I got the question from Jurgen and two times this season, but each time I said ‘no’.”

He cited his loyalty to the collaborative project led by Klopp and a desire for new experiences as key reasons for his decision.

“I really felt that this was a project of ‘us’. Jurgen led it and I really felt we should end this project together. Secondly, I’ve been at Liverpool for nearly 10 years. I was ready for a new experience: new people, my own staff, my own players. I gave everything I had to this playing group.”

Lijnders also acknowledged that Liverpool needed a fresh direction:

“I think the team would continue with the same ways if I stayed here. I feel that the team as well needs something new.”

Despite his reluctance, Lijnders admitted uncertainty about his response had he been formally offered the position by Mike Gordon, the president of Fenway Sports Group (FSG).

Gordon did reach out in February, following Klopp’s public announcement of his departure, but only to confirm that Lijnders would not be offered the role—a decision Lijnders agrees was for the best.

“Mike said, ‘Pep, we really considered you, but I think it’s fair for you that we don’t put you after Jurgen’,” Lijnders added. “Mike is a good guy. He knew as well. I’d made my ambition clear. It was best for the future.”